A Gender Gap in Policy Representation in the U.S. Congress?



In the first article to evaluate the equality of dyadic policy representation experienced by women, we assess the congruence between U.S. House members' roll-call votes and the policy preferences of their female and male constituents. Employing two measures of policy representation, we do not find a gender gap in dyadic policy representation. However, we uncover a sizeable gender gap favoring men in districts represented by Republicans, and a similarly sizeable gap favoring women in districts represented by Democrats. A Democratic majority further improves women's dyadic representation relative to men, but having a female representative (descriptive representation) does not.